About

We are parents and caregivers. We are educators and therapists. We are in this together.

The Gray Academy for Exceptional Children with Neurological Disorders is a non-profit, non-public* K-5 Elementary School for children with special needs located in Santa Monica, California. Our program has been specifically structured help families meet the challenges that go beyond the classroom and treat the whole child.

Since opening in the fall of 2018, The Gray Academy has received both its certification from the State of California as well as its 501 (c)(3) status.  Criteria for acceptance to the school includes (but is not limited to): rare diseases, genetic disorders, traumatic brain injuries, mobility challenges, and impaired immune systems, among other medical conditions.

Our unique curriculum and related services have been uniquely designed to provide both the high-level and complex special education and therapy needs of students all in one location.  Both our curriculum and therapeutic interventions (traditional and non-traditional) are customized to the needs of each student and integrated into the daily schedule.

Our state-of-the-art facility was designed with extra safety provisions in classrooms and features some of most advanced equipment available and necessary for rehabilitation (including the Trexo Robotics Gait Trainer, The Lite Gait, and The Galileo).

*Non-public school is a private school that must follow the requirements of California public education and be certified annually.

The Problem

There is a significant gap in the educational system for children with neurological challenges and developmental delays. The majority of these children have additional requirements that are not being met in the traditional school environment. Based on their unique and specific needs, many children are taken out of school multiple times during the week for hours at a time. Not only are they missing key instructional and social opportunities, but the physical toll of switching environments on the children and their caregivers is a hardship and distraction from learning. Every aspect of The Gray Academy has been thoughtfully designed to address these problems and issues to help provide families with strong support and the highest level of education and specialized services.

The Gray Academy Solution

Utilizing a customized, holistic approach to learning and therapy, The Gray Academy integrates its academic curriculum and unique learning system with highly-specialized, complex therapies required for children suffering with moderate to severe neurological challenges including (but not limited to): speech or gross developmental delays, gross and fine motor challenges, and cognitive impairments.

Curriculum: The Gray Academy curriculum integrates activities of daily living (physical transitioning, toiling, personal care), cross-curricular functional academics (such as art, cooking, music, science and community experiences), motor skills, and leisure activities (such as yoga, music, and group movement programs).

Unique Learning System: We use our own multi-faceted, multi-sensory approach to implementing a standards-based curriculum which features thematic units with leveled texts that highlight core words and vocabulary.

Community Outings and Field Trips: Students are offered numerous community outings and field trips that are geared to help students generalize skills to settings outside of home and school. These exploratory and fun activities in authentic settings are designed to teach children about safety, the environment, sights and smells, and unfamiliar sounds.

Related Services: The Gray Academy provides many related services in both individual and group settings (and within the context of the  surrounding community). These include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, augmentative and alternative communication, among other services. The Gray Academy also offers other related services, such as auditory and vestibular training , socialization, osteopathic manipulation, aquatic therapy, hippotherapy, and nutritional counseling.

Other Support Services: In cooperation with The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation, The Gray Academy works to bring families together with experts who can help guide and educate on new scientific innovations and research, as well as provide an emotional support network.

Our Mission

Our founders Gordon and Kristen Kaiser Gray, have firsthand experience with the challenges and daily struggles that most families face when trying to juggle special education with crucial medical treatments, therapies, doctors visits and other needs. After both of their young children, Charlotte and Gwenyth, were diagnosed with a rare, fatal neurological disorder known as Batten Disease (CLN6), Gordon and Kristen envisioned a new kind of school with a transformative, integrated and wholistic approach that could help fill the void often experienced by parents and their children suffering from severe neurological disorders.  With the support of The Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation and other donations, The Gray Academy was created with the aim to serve many of these critical needs.

Contact Us

Email us at info@thegrayacademy.org or call 310-393-5115.

The Gray Academy

532 Colorado Ave

Santa Monica, CA 90401

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